/No functioning economy unless we control the virus: Lindsey Graham, Liz Cheney warn Trump not to ease guidelines

No functioning economy unless we control the virus: Lindsey Graham, Liz Cheney warn Trump not to ease guidelines

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would like to ease the guidelines urging non-essential businesses to close in order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus by Easter. But some Republican allies and his former Food and Drug Administration chief are warning him against such a move. 

A day earlier Trump said he fears the economic costs of the response could be more destructive than the virus itself.

“This was a medical problem, we are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem,” the president said.

But former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the economy cannot succeed amid a rampant outbreak. 

Coronavirus response:Trump sets Easter as possible date for lifting social-distancing restrictions

“There’s a strong and understandable desire to return to better times and a functioning economy. But it should not be lost on anyone that there’s no such thing as a functioning economy and society so long as covid-19 continues to spread uncontrolled in our biggest cities,” he tweeted. 

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., shared Gottlieb’s post and echoed his concern.

“There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,” she said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close ally to the president urged him Monday not to “back off aggressive containment policies within the United States.” 

Graham shared an article from The Washington Post about Trump’s apparent embrace of the growing argument from conservative media personalities that the cure was becoming worse than the disease.

“When it comes to how to fight #CoronavirusPandemic, I’m making my decisions based on healthcare professionals like Dr. Fauci and others, not political punditry,” Graham tweeted.

“Try running an economy with major hospitals overflowing, doctors and nurses forced to stop treating some because they can’t help all, and every moment of gut-wrenching medical chaos being played out in our living rooms, on TV, on social media, and shown all around the world,” Graham said.

On Tuesday, Graham said he liked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “explanation of how to balance reopening the economy against public health concerns.” 

“He rightfully said we can do both but it must be done smartly, always erring on the side of public health,” Graham said.